When the People are the Source of Dictatorship
It's certainly a negative thing to have a totalitarian regime that oppresses its people. It's even worse to have a society in which the people themselves oppress their fellow citizens if they choose to have opinions that contradicts to what the majority believes in. But it is definitely a disaster to have both, because it seems that you can't fix one you without fixing the other, and at the same time it is almost impossible to fix both simultaneously.
I read two news articles recently that show how the people in Egypt oppress their fellow citizens, or even think they don't have the right to be citizens, just because they choose to be different than the rest of the herd.
The first article talks about 2000 Egyptian citizens (it seems they all happen to be men) who in the past have traveled to work in Israel and over there they also got married to Israeli women, then at some point they returned to Egypt with their Israeli wives, and for some reason that the article doesn't explain, most of them chose to live in one neighborhood in Alexandria, the "Monasra" neighborhood.
So what is the problem?
Mohammed Al-Badrashin, who is a candidate in the current parliamentary elections and also a current member of the parliament, and who happens to be a Nasserist (a follower of Nasser legacy), is running in the electoral circuit that the Monasra neighborhood follows. He presented a request for the Prime Minister Ahmad Nazif, to remove the names of those 2000 Egyptians from the voters list (i.e. making them ineligible to vote), and stated that their votes would be "invalid" simply because they lived in Israel for some time and because they are married to Israeli women.
By the way, the Israeli women in question are from the "1948 Arabs", in other words they are Palestinians who chose to remain within Israeli territory and receive the Israeli nationality after Israel was established in 1948. This means they are probably not Jewish, but if they were, that would have made things in Egypt even worse for them and their husbands.
Not only that, but Al-Badrashin went as far as stating that since it is possible those men have acquired the Israeli citizenship, then Egypt has to renounce “such people", in other words he is saying Egypt need to revoke their citizenship, even though the laws of Egypt allows multinationalities for an individual.
I haven't seen any news about what happened with Al-Badrashin's request, but this shows how this parliament member thinks of his fellow citizens who are excercising their rights, and who chose to live and get married in a country that has a peace treaty with Egypt that was signed 26 years ago. It is not surprising though, probably most people in Egypt will agree with Al-Badrashin's request.
The second article mentions a lawyer, Galal Abdul-Rahman, who claims that the resolutions of the recent Coptic conference in the USA were "unjust" and "unconstitutional", and that the participants in the conference are "working against Egypt" when they demand change in the second article of the Egyptian constitution, or when they demand assigning 15% of parliament seats and public office positions. You can judge by yourself and tell us what you think... the resolutions are located here.
All of that is still not that bad, it's still an opinion that he can express. But that's not all what he did. Abdul-Rahman also filed a lawsuit against the Egyptian president, prime minister, and the minister of interior, demanding that they revoke the Egyptian citizenship from participants in the conference, and saying that they do not deserve to be Egyptians... And again I wouldn't be surprised if many or most of Egyptians agreed with that.
Who said dictatorship or fascism has to come from the government? And how can we ask a dictatorship to implement democracy if many of the people who demand democracy are the same people who try to throw out those who are different and those who disagree with the “opinion of the people”, and consider them unworthy to be Egyptians to begin with?